| James Kon |
A BEIJING Olympics fencing referee has lauded the importance for Brunei fencing team to build on more competition experience in order to close the gap with other developed fencing nations.
The observation was made by Bruno Gaby who was a fencing referee at the Beijing Olympics and fencing coach for Portugal during the Barcelona Olympics.
Gaby is currently in Brunei Darussalam to referee the 2015 Brunei International Open Fencing Championship.
“From my observation in the competition, I think that Brunei fencers have good technique and to be a better fencer, they need to compete in more tournaments. This is the biggest difference,” Gaby from France said.
“In France, fencing team has to compete each weekend which have helped the team tremendously. It’s good to have training but fencers need to apply the training to a real competition to further improve.”
“The lack of experience in competition was also felt by fencers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste and some East Asian nations,” Gaby added.
Gaby also felt that “the future of fencing lies in Asia. This is because Asians are working very hard and catching up with the European fencers. Some of the best fencers are from Korea, Japan and China”.
To further boost the popularity of fencing, he recommended that Epee to be introduced for the beginners.
“Epee is easy to practise and no conventional rule applies. It’s easier to understand while the equipment are less expensive than Sabre or Foil. Primary school students could develop an interest in fencing by taking up Epee.”
Currently coaching at the Nilai University of Malaysia, Gaby revealed that the university is expecting to host the first-ever Asean University Fencing Championship this year in September and Brunei Darussalam will be invited to compete.